Saturday, 30 May 2020

Saturday Photo: The Flowers of the Week...and Thoughts on the Circle of Time

Hot weather arrived with a vengeance this week, and the tulips faded rapidly.  But on the other hand some of the other late spring flowers burst into loveliness.

Among them is Bridal Veil  spirea.  Doesn't last long here, but for a week or so it is spectacular.  That's honey suckle on the right side of my neighbour's steps, which is also a lovely plant right now.

This fleeting progression of flowering plants is one of the joys of this climate.  When things bloom, they really bloom, as if throwing their whole being into a display on which their lives depended.  Of course, that's in effect what is happening, as the seeds from the flowers are what would spread the plants in the wild, at least in theory.

In this year of catastrophe, the rhythms of flowering plants is are solace.  Yes, our lives have been turned upside down, but things continue.  Not necessarily unfolding as they should, and definitely not for the best in this "best of all possible worlds," but continuing...

And that is the lesson for today. 

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Saturday Photo: The Fountain across the Street...

Early in the morning when I go out I hear two things: the wind in the leaves, and water burbling in our neighbor's fountain across the street.

The leaves on the  have been out only a few days, so the lowly rustle of the wind running through them is still a novelty.  But the fountain is there all year around, even though from October to April it just sits there, looking nice and resting.

We had a warm day yesterday, when the sound of the running water was particularly pleasant.  So nice of neighbors to introduce such loveliness into this sometimes-dismal world.


Saturday, 16 May 2020

Saturday Photo: The Gift of Tulips

Last year about this time our neighbour, the horticulturalist, brought home several hundred tulip bulbs that he'd saved from being thrown out.

They'd been used to decorate the hall for a special Mother's Day brunch in a Montreal hotel.  Now the hotel had no use for them, and they were headed from the trash.

But Denis spread them out on a tarp in the lane behind our houses and offered them to anyone who wanted them.  "No guarantees that they'll bloom next year," he cautioned.  "Their leaves haven't had a chance to make enough chlorophyll to stoke up the bulbs."

So I didn't have much hope, although I planted them at the end of August in hopes that a little more time in the ground might make a difference.

It would seem it has!

I can't remember how many I planted but five clumps are now in fine bloom, making this sorry world a brighter place.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Saturday Photo: The Great Influenza Should Be Required Reading...

Like everyone else I've been trying to make sense of what is happening and has been happening these last few months.  Far too much time spent reading headlines from all over the world, hours spent fretting about what I can and can not do to help.  I'll write about the last item some other time, but today I want to encourage everyone to read a truly informative book, The Great Influenza by John M. Barry.

Despite some criticism saying that Covid-19 isn't the Spanish Flu, the book is amazingly relevant today.  Few of us had any idea of what was going on when the great corona virus wave hit us, but, had we paid attention to the past, we might have had a better idea.

Physical distancing, hand washing, face masks: they all are standard advice now, but their usefulness--no, necessity--were first recognized during that great pandemic.

Barry tells a great story, as well as doing some impressive research in records, memoirs, and scientific publications.  Get it and read it, and stop talking about how we'll be out the woods in a few weeks.  We won't be and we are going to have to learn to live with this new virus until a vaccine is perfected. 

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Saturday Photo: Forsythia, and Rushing It

Forsythia in bloom in several places this morning!  Nice and cheery to see!

The other photo is obviously the project of someone who couldn't wait for spring.  I took a detour from my walk this morning because I was curious about a bush that appeared to have two different kinds of flowers, and then when I approached I realized that the flowers were plastic.

Seems to me there is a parallel to make with our existence these days.  We want the real thing, but we are forced to make do with a virtual versions.  Unless, that is, we come face to face with the dreaded disease, and we'd like to put a screen between us and it.